Sunday, January 23, 2011

Degree Project: Speculative Research for Healthy Hearts

Healthy Hearts:

Medicine, dieting, and exercise, physically we should be responsible in these areas to maintain a healthy body, circulatory, and cardiac system. In our nations current state of extreme obesity and cardiac problems, a healthy heart is very important to keep. The market is flooded with products that can profit from healthy heart awareness. With the majority of the market providing healthy heart information through monetary profitable products, the range and importance of heart-maintenance options that don't require the purchase of products, really lacks, and gets diluted from the commercial realm. Individuals aren't exposed to the emotional effects that benefit the human heart, something free of purchase, something good for your mind and body, something you've been doing all along.

1. Objectives and Goals: Facilitating Needs

a. Creating and bettering healthier hearts and lifestyles through emotional means.

b. Spreading informative knowledge that improves and furthers the healthy activities that already exist in every individuals daily routines.

c. Create an alternative source (giving individuals more accommodating and convenient options) for cardio health besides medicine, nutrition, and exercise.

- Self Reliance, there is a responsibility gap between individuals being aware that they have the power and convenient psychological tools to combat stress effects on the heart, and the initiative of the consumer/commercial-providers to sort through the physical products available on shelves and delineate moderation in their own lives between emotional health and physical health.

Ignorance of personal strength and responsibility is something that needs to be eliminated or brought to the surface and communicated to the individual. Educating people to be less dependent upon physical products and supplements that emotional and personal exercises can fulfill is an important puzzle piece to assembling a healthy heart through a happy lifestyle for middle-aged professionals (to compliment their current medical plans), for students (to build an early immunity against future anxiety/cardiac attacks), and for all who would like to live with their stressful routines and reduce them to live healthy lifestyles instead of living in ignorance.

- By bringing this information to the surface, I want to create a healthy heart campaign that acts as a receptivity gradient for individuals to first - have knowledge from this awareness campaign, and second - utilize the provided helpful stress reduction tools that cater to every individuals existing lifestyles, whether it be something as little as a breathing exercise before work, or playing your guitar after classes.

2. Demographic Focus: Hearts in Need

Professionals - Although all can benefit and apply this information to compliment their own lifestyles, I believe that targeting the more stressful fields, professions and lifestyles will show the greatest results and widest broadcasting opportunities. Designers, tough deadlines, creative/mental exhaustion and not physical fatigue, tedious production details, and multiple vendors and client relations to handle, this field is not exactly the easiest routine to deal with day and night. As stated above, this campaign can compliment middle aged professionals current medical conditions and physical & nutritional plans. The focus on this age group in the profession is that this demographic is already educated on the physical and medicinal benefits that have successfully improved their own hearts. The 'stress' will be put on how to reinforce your current lifestyle since this target is focused on the contentment of professional success and life's comforts.

Students - Mostly graduating high school and current college students. This common mass deals with the greatest stress of all, uncertainty. The focus on passing courses, getting good grades and the application of their collegiate investment to the real world. We're all under peer pressure, the acceptance of reputable graduate schools, the exiting of college and putting your investment to the test. This stress often leads to more than just medicinal sanctuaries, it leads to caffein, smoking, and insomnia overdoses to combat stress and physical fatigue. This crucial time is not too late to, not help a current condition, but is early enough to build an immunity to avoid a condition inclusively.

3. Inspire and Participate

Awareness first and tools second. Receptivity, accepting the current state is half the battle. To some, all they need is the exposure of cardiac defects from stress and anxiety and then they will act accordingly, to others they need the physical tools too. How can Graphic Design can make individuals self-reliant and have authorship over the emotional effects of their cardiac health? One of the biggest challenges of this campaign is to convince individuals of the credibility that emotional effects and exercises can have on your physical cardiac system. Once acceptance have been made, I want to study different personas and behavioral lifestyles to provide stress reduction tools that will cater to each individual. With the acceptance and options available, it will be easier to invade specific ways and spaces for users to advocate for themselves. Whether the tool is authorship in performing specific exercises that emotionally benefit their current hearts and lifestyles, or the tool being to advocate by spreading the awareness further, encouraging influence & awareness, and the social support of interaction is the power that I need to learn and spread.

As stated previously, from LiveStrong, to Cheerios there are many product models in the form of medicinal, exercise and athletic promotions, as well as dietary nutritional programs to facilitate a healthy heart. Everyone knows these models, but are too dependent upon them. From research — yoga, meditation, tai chi, these are the only mind-to-body connection models that support physical health. Many don't know that emotional stress is one of the greatest life span reducers, taking away years off your life. I believe models like yoga and meditation are not promoted enough, mostly due to the physical and cardiac benefits they provide; lack of exposure.

4. Measurement: Effectivity

Social support and positive influence from your peers is the greatest way to inspire the effectivity, now we need to measure it. But we need to enforce the social influence through respected establishments in the field; partnerships. So far throughout my research, I've been looking into organizations like the American Heart Association, Livestrong, YMCA, Dr Oz, and Hallmark. I am going to be partnering with a design pedestal in the kansas city community, Hallmark. A creative director from their kansas city branch, and a Health and Wellness Segment Director from their Minneapolis Business Connections branch are willing to help with similar case studies and incentive programs that they currently provide to their own employees. This helping hand completely opened up new avenues to apply to a healthy heart campaign. Due to methods like incentives, logging activity, and blood pressure testing, the effectivity of such a campaign is very exciting to approach.

This is the general speculative stage, I am still researching and organizing data and info on specific ways that the emotional effects can be harnessed and to what specific degree they apply to each individual.


Doctor Oz

The Piedmont Heart Institute

The American Heart Association


Web MD

Yale Med

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